Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Tim Whelan performing at the Pig as Bloodtub Chairman - photo by Haymanot Tesfa

Tim Whelan performing at the Pig as Bloodtub Chairman – photo by Haymanot Tesfa

Music Hall songs at The Pig

Jude Montague and Tim Whelan (Bloodtub Chairman) are providing pub piano at The Pig on Sunday lunchtimes. Jude often prefers to concentrate on the 1920s and 1930s period and works with Danny Brittain and Matt Armstrong with their band Clive Papers, she is also fascinated by music hall. Tim’s performance concentrates on bringing music hall back to life, with twists and turns.

Clive Papers 20s and 30s Band

Clive Papers 20s and 30s Band

The two performers answer some questions about music hall and their favourite songs.

Q: What do you find relevant and exciting about music hall in relation to us today?

TW: I think the stories tell us a lot about Britain, elements that haven’t changed much, elements that are totally different, elements that are like a strange mirror image. In the music you can hear the development of British music in the 60s. And there’s some good jokes too.

JM: I love to think about the relevance of the lyrics to what was going on in social history at the time. Music hall songs are full of stories about what is going on but often with humour. A lot of the songs that have survived took songs that were already popular and turned them into parodies. The songs in Monty Python and The Goodies from the ’60s and ’70s carried on this tradition, for which there were many songs, and even if new melodies were written, the songs were often parodying genres and styles.

Jude Montague at The Pig - photo by Seongjin

Jude Montague at The Pig – photo by Seongjin

TW: The one with the most complicated and lovely story, music and history behind it is ‘Burlington Bertie from Bow’ which perhaps is why it’s one of the few still performed. Unless that’s just because of the banana joke.

JM: A favoured one of mine is ‘The Man on the Flying Trapeze’ as I like to imagine the man on the flying trapeze, it seems so absurd and good humoured. The lyrics were written by George Leybourne about the phenomenally successful  Jules Léotard – the onepiece gymnastic suit is named a leotard after him too. The lyrics are fabulous but I also love the music, by Albert Lee. What a chorus! I think it just invites you to join in and sing along.

Cover for sheet music for 'I Do Live to Be Beside the Seaside'

Cover for sheet music for ‘I Do Live to Be Beside the Seaside’

TW: ‘The Bolshevik‘ because of its total determination to make no sense at all.

JM: I love Mark Sheridan who performed ‘I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside’. He had a terribly sad end when he fell out of favour, killing himself with a single gunshot to the head. So tragic. The song he made famous is perfect for the British seaside and was written when Britain’s seaside towns were booming. John H. Glove-Kind composed the music but it was Sheridan who interpreted it and brought it to the public.

TW: ‘The End of My Old Cigar’ I could name quite a few Harry Champion songs, but this one gives us a clue to just how much smut was going on in the music halls that wasn’t written down. And I do like a bit of smut.

Music Cover Sheet for 'The Man on the Flying Trapeze'

Music Cover Sheet for ‘The Man on the Flying Trapeze’

JM: I love that song – and you do it brilliantly. Matt and I often sing it round the house now! Hurrah hurrah hurrah! I think my final choice has to be something sung by a woman – I did find it hard to find songs that were written by women for music hall, but there are many written for female characters. Marie Lloyd is the most famous female performer but I love a cross-dressing act. Your earlier choice ‘Burlington Bertie’ is a perfect one here as it was a signature song for what they used to call a ‘male impersonator’ , in this case Ella Shields and she was the inspiration for Julie Andrews in the film and stage musical Victor/Victoria. So its a double vote for me for ‘Burlington Bertie’.

The Pig is seafront venue, serving fresh local food on Sundays and a place to enjoy a Sunday roast, and recently with live music for the second part of the serving. Tim Whelan appears occasionally and Jude Montague supplies regular musical entertainment with the odd guest. 

If you’d like to sing a variety song with piano or guitar accompaniment please contact

Music Hall and/or pub piano and other entertainments run regularly on Sundays at 3pm at The Pig, Hastings, 37 White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JL

If you’re enjoying HOT and would like us to continue providing fair and balanced reporting on local matters please consider making a donation. Click here to open our PayPal donation link. Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 11:43 Wednesday, Apr 3, 2024 In: Music & Sound

Also in: Music & Sound

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us


    Get our regular digest emails

  • Subscribe to HOT